Game Warden Field Notes
The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
- All Play and No Work
Near the end of duck season, a Henderson County game warden received a call from the owner of a local gas station. The caller said a black car had pulled up to one of their dumpsters and left a trash bag full of ducks inside. When the warden arrived at the gas station, he saw footage from the station’s cameras that showed the individual entering the gas station and paying for several items using a “speed pass.” The warden tracked down the individual using information secured from a warrant for the speed pass user’s credentials. The out-of-state hunter admitted to dumping the ducks in the dumpster because he did not want to clean them.
- Narcotics? Nope. Deer
While executing a search warrant for narcotics, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department uncovered evidence of multiple illegally taken whitetail deer. A Polk County game warden was called in to investigate. One individual confessed to taking at least four deer on his own property, though the evidence suggested other individuals took several more deer. None of the individuals had hunting licenses. The investigation concerning other deer taken on the property is ongoing.
- Into the Woods
A Jasper County game warden received a call from a deer lease member who reported several people trespassing on his lease. When the warden arrived he immediately saw about 50 trespassers on ATVs; most fled when they saw the warden. Other wardens were called in and on ATVs tracked the trespassers across the 18,000-acre deer lease, eventually apprehending15 individuals.
- In Hot Pursuit
Two Zapata County game wardens responded to a request from the Department of Public Safety for help with a vehicle pursuit. The two wardens followed a four-door passenger vehicle north out of Zapata County. After about 10 miles, the car began driving erratically through the dirt median, almost striking several sheriff’s department vehicles. People began jumping from the vehicle, which then headed northbound in the southbound lane of the highway, almost ramming several civilian vehicles head on. Another man jumped out of the vehicle and rolled in the dirt median. One warden secured the man while the other warden continued pursuit of the vehicle. DPS troopers spiked the vehicle’s tires and it finally came to a stop after traveling several more miles with three flat tires. The driver exited the vehicle and three undocumented aliens were turned over to the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office. The driver was arrested with a warrant for several new felonies and the vehicle was impounded.
- Will Get Fooled Again
Two game wardens were patrolling Pecan Bayou for fishing and water safety violations when they noticed a car parked down by the water. The car appeared unoccupied, though its passenger door was open. As the two wardens approached the car, they saw a male in the passenger seat throw what looked like a meth pipe out the door and onto the ground. One warden called out to the male, as well as the female in the driver seat, while the other warden picked up the pipe, which was still warm to the touch. The wardens arrested both individuals for possession of a controlled substance. The male had a small plastic bag containing meth in his wallet, which the female said she and her partner had just bought and smoked. The male had only been out of state jail for three months for related charges.
- Blame It on the Catfish
A Bosque County game warden and Bosque County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call to rescue two fishermen whose inflatable raft was sinking. A deputy located the fishermen offshore while the warden launched the patrol boat. The warden was able to quickly reach the fishermen, who were in the water at this point, clinging to the mostly deflated raft. The warden helped both men in getting into the patrol boat and safely returned them to the boat ramp, where emergency medical services provided medical attention to both men since they had been in the 63-degree water for more than an hour. Both men said some of the catfish they caught must have finned the raft, causing it to deflate. They also said the stringer they used had wrapped around the trolling motor, disabling control of the craft. Both fishermen put on lifejackets before going into the water.
- Caught on Instagram
A Guadalupe County game warden received a call from a Gonzales County game warden with some information about a potential illegal deer harvest teenagers posted to Instagram. The Guadalupe County game warden did some investigating and found the teenagers who posted their harvest and interviewed them. After making several excuses about why the warden found deer hair and blood in the bed of one teenager’s truck, the teenagers confessed to shooting a deer off the road in Wilson County two nights prior. The warden contacted a Wilson County game warden, who said he’d received a call about a shot that night in the same area and a description of a vehicle that matched the teenager’s truck. The teenagers then showed the Guadalupe County warden where they shot the deer. There was still fresh blood on the road and on the nearby fence. The teenagers were charged with 10 Class C misdemeanor hunting violations and a .270 rifle, spotlight and meat were confiscated.